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Front or rear entry for kids?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Looking at some boots for my 4yo.

The rear entry do not do it for ME at all but I am not warting them - jsut putting them on!

Anybody got any opinions one way or another on front v rear and 4 year olds?

East of dressing? Comfort? My first kiddie foray coming this season. Bought the helmet yesterday. Got the boards. Need boots and binds.
post #2 of 13
First kiddie foray? Rear-entry can be OK, but they are not
all created equal. Some don't flex at all, and some have those ratcheting plastic strip buckles that won't stay closed. Avoid both. Make sure to do a shell fit and get her (or him?) into a pair that is the right size. I found the Rossi rear-entry boot to work well for my daughter. For her second year of skiing we got her into a pair of front entry Langes. If I were starting her again, I'd get a pair of Nordys. They're back, they were out of production for a few years.

btw - ease of entry counts for a lot! There were some times last season where i was wondering if it was worth it.
post #3 of 13
Epic, that is awesome advice. What is the smallest/youngest you suggest putting ski boots on your kid?

I have a friend who's husband thinks his daughter will be ready to get comfy with ski boots at the end of this winter. She'll be a year old in December. I say he should wait another year. Am I a wussy?
post #4 of 13
OMG. People do ski them that young, but it seems kinda pointless. I say that from eperience. Alsacia "skied" at 26 months or so, but couldn't stand up and really just wanted to play on the magic carpet. Not that there's anything worng with that. Feyja will be turning 3 in June. I'll put her on skis on ice days in March or April if she wants to (and I'm sure she will, since she runs around the house with her sisters gear yelling "SKI, SKI").

That said, you said get comfortable with ski boots. I think it makes great sense for them to go out and play in the snow with ski boots on. If nothing else, it's harder for them to take them off when playing outside.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Here is part 2. We tried some boots on the other day. Size 11 fits nicely. Size 12 is too big but will / should also fit next year. Plus little brother will be using these boots eventually as well.

I have seen little little kids making nice turns down a blue. However, the thought of wrestling my guys to the MT and into gear was daunting and after careful analysis, I concluded this was not logistically possible. Maybe next year when I retire and become a full blown Soccer Mom.

So...what size? How important is "good fit" for a 4 yo? Can I just stick on an extra pair of toasty socks for this season?
post #6 of 13
Good fit is very important. My feeling is that instruction only goes so far. You need to give them gear that makes it easy for them. Make it so that the easiest thing for them to do is ski with modern movements. If you give them too big boots, and too big skis, they'll only be able to lever off of those tails and ski in a power-wedge.

Forget about fitting next year. Get them what fits now.
post #7 of 13
No tight fitting PLEASE.

Children have no or very little minor small muscle movement. Comfort.

I have put both rear and normal entry on kids. I have no opinion, they both held the skis on.

The "normal" boots open so wide, it is very easy to get a foot in.

A 15.5 boot is the smallest they make. They were at least 1 inch bigger than my 18 mo old son's foot. He could wear them for an hour or two...
Then it was nap time or some other time to get off the snow.
post #8 of 13
I can't believe you got an 18 month old to do anything for an hour or two.

The Nordy goes down to a 14.0. They look pretty cute at that size. Dalbello has a 14.5, but it seems to fit the same as everybody else's 15.5.
post #9 of 13
Here is my 2 cents... No pro here, just what works with what I've seen so far.

Fitting a young kid is hard and should use a different approach. Anyone up to 4-yo is incapable in providing proper feedback. If they tell you the boots are comfortable, they are probably too loose. Liner fitting should be sufficient. If the footbed is slightly longer than the feet (say no longer than half an inch), it's probably a good enough fit. Kids that age typically do not have enough weight and strength to shift around inside the shell if the liners are already hugging their feet.
post #10 of 13
I started my daughter on skis when she was 18 months. We used the ski harness with the tether (o.k. she had a leash on ) She stood on her own and could turn both ways fairly well but only on a very gentle slope which we have plenty of at Alpine Valley . At that age, there's not a lot muscle strength in the upper legs and she couldn't hold a wedge for very long, so I taught her to stop by turning up the hill.

I originally had her in a rear entry boot and she did o.k., but her skiing really improved when I put her in a front entry boot. Because little kids' center of mass is much higher up than ours, they try to balance things out on skis by holding their hips further back (butt out).

As far as fit, I agree with chanwmr, that about a half inch of wiggle room is probably good.

As to their attention span at that age, I agree with epic. My daughter had a blast for about the first 45 minutes to an hour and then she wanted to go in. I think it's great starting them out early though. It's great play time and they learn to love the outdoors as much as you do.
post #11 of 13
We started my son last year, when he was three, with full-year rentals, so we didn't have to worry about fit for the next year. He really liked his Tecnica rear entry boots. Couldn't get him to take them off in the house, wanted to play outside in them, etc. I got the feeling he had too much play in them, but at least they were comfortable and he certainly didn't feel awkward walking in them. But man it's hard to keep their hands warm at that age!
post #12 of 13
Have you tried using the little glove warmer packets prickly? They work great, especially if you have mittens with zip pockets built in specifially for them.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Another tip a ski dad pal gave me today for the attention span...

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